FL: “Gone But Not Forgotten” on the Forgotten Coast

We’ve been gone from Arizona for three weeks … 1/3 of this total trip. We left the Emerald Coast and traveled to the “Forgotten Coast,” so-called because it’s the “place that development forgot.” Yep — it’s undeveloped, all right!

Gone But Not Forgotten: Civilization. Here on St. George Island, a 10-mile long barrier island that is only 1/2 mile wide and far-far-far from everything you want to forget while traveling, the only bothersome things are going to be the breezes messing up your hairdo, and the sounds of hundreds of varieties of birds calling to each other.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Glitz & Glamour. Compared to the Emerald Coast we just left behind, here it is grittier … less glitzy … more down-to-Earth. Dinner is procured via fishing pole, or from the roadside trailer with today’s freshest catches.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Traditional Buildings. Beachside dwellings are tall and narrow to take advantage of oceanside views and breezes. Can you guess the presumed occupation of that one home’s owner?

Gone But Not Forgotten: The 19th Century. The St. George Light is a beautiful reminder of the “time that was,” and it was even gone-gone-gone since its creation in 1833, not once not twice but three times, toppled or destroyed by hurricanes, but built back and available to climb the 92 wooden steps to the top.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Cotton and sponge production in the 1830s, when the nearby quaint port town of Apalachicola was the third largest port city in the U.S. Now, the old brick warehouses and location on the river are home to stores and restaurants, and an astonishing 90% of Florida’s oysters currently come from this bay.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Crowded Beaches. Where .. are .. all .. the .. people? Not here! One end of the island has dog-friendly beaches, and the other end (inside the state park — but same beach) doesn’t allow dogs. Either end is wide open, stuffed with seashells, and the perfect place to forget all your troubles on 10 miles of sand!

Gone But Not Forgetten: Earthly Pleasures. Because everything here is all about the sea, especially oysters. Oyster shells are in such great supply that streets, yards and medians are lined with oyster shells instead of gravel.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Our Waistlines. Between the Hole in the Wall’s fresh slurpy oysters, The Owl Cafe’s duck confit fries with truffle oil and crispy proscuitto, and the Oyster Brewing Company’s crazy-big selection of unique craft brew flavors (peanut butter porter, anyone?), it’s tough to find reasons to stick to that diet.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Our Grandchildren! Ahhh, never forgotten, always missed! But with this trip already 1/3 over, we’ll be seeing these little cuties again soon, and get home just in time for the birth of #3 this May!

Our stay on St. George Island was too-short at 4 days, but we leave feeling refreshed and reinvigorated for the next stops in Florida-palooza! From here, we head to Cedar Key, a quaint, off-the-beaten-path town that some say is like Key West used to be 50 years ago, where we are camping behind a Tiki Bar! Should be interesting!

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